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David Attenborough claims BBC ‘does not do enough to promote arts and culture’

David Attenborough. Photo: Lev Radin/Shutterstock David Attenborough. Photo: Lev Radin/Shutterstock
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David Attenborough has criticised the BBC for not programming enough arts and culture on its channels, claiming it has a responsibility to do more.

The veteran broadcaster said there were “lots of gaps” in the BBC’s coverage, chiefly a lack of cultural programmes.

He told the Radio Times: “I don’t think the BBC does enough. It’s not enough simply to say, ‘Well, it doesn’t get a big enough audience.’ If you’re a public service broadcaster, what you should be saying is, ‘We will show the broad spectrum of human interest.’ People of all kinds should be catered for.”

Attenborough said success should not be measured only by the size of the audience for a certain type of programme, but “by the maximum width of the spectrum”.

The BBC has since responded to his comments and said it would “love to do even more” arts coverage but pointed to a need for further income to achieve this.

A BBC spokesman said: “Sir David Attenborough rightly recognises the importance of arts and cultural programming in public service broadcasting and no other comes close to the BBC’s commitment – from [art history documentary] Civilisations and Performance Live, to regular arts discussion programmes and the forthcoming year-long Our Classical Century – that said, we would love to do even more, which is why the BBC has said we need to look at ways of increasing our income.”